“If you want to be a writer, be a reader.” This may be the most commonly-offered writing advice of all. And it’s good advice as far as it goes. But encouraging writers to read has always felt to me like encouraging teenage boys to eat three meals a day and maybe a couple of snacks. People who want to write tend to be people who are already reading. I think. Right?
This whole thing—and by that I mean all of creation, from the outermost galaxies to my kitchen table—swirls around a Jewish man from the first century. He was born of woman, was a refugee, was more or less homeless, and lived a relatively short life. But his presence on the planet all those years ago changed history, and I believe he was the incarnation of God himself.
Chances are, if you listen to much Christian music, you’ve come across Christa Wells’ songwriting without even knowing it. (She wrote Natalie Grant’s big hit “Held,” along with songs for Plumb and Ellie Holcomb.) But Christa has been quietly crafting her own singer/songwriter indie pop songs for years, even though she feels most at home behind the scenes.
God was always reminding the Israelites of the story they were dropped into at birth. The story that began long before they were born, before their people were even a people; the story that would continue long after any individual had reached the end of his or her life span. Old Testament scripture records those repeated remindings of identity, calling, and sacred responsibility, until those scriptures themselves became a perpetual reminder.
Click through for the second edition of our new Rabbit Room comic strip, Rabbit Trails.
Begin with the end in mind. That’s Habit 2 of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In most human endeavors, this is excellent advice. In large matters and small, beginning with the end in mind helps ensure that the steps you take move you in the right direction. I heartily commend this advice to you…in all areas of your life besides writing.
I’ve been attending a liturgical church for the last several years, and it rings all my word-nerd bells. The language is so beautiful and rich, and every service rehearses the story of salvation, culminating in Communion.
An endorsement blurb from Johnny Cash graces the back side of Nashville Skyline, Bob Dylan’s 1969 album recorded in Music City: “Here-in is a hell of a poet,” said Cash. And for such poetry, a half century later, Dylan would receive the Nobel Laureate for literature.
But, really, so what? “What is poetry’s role when the world is burning?” asks no less a poet than Chris Wiman.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of the sheer variety of work The Rabbit Room is up to. If you want a bird’s-eye view of all that has come to pass in this first quarter of 2018 and all that is in the works for the rest of the year, join Pete and Andrew Peterson for this highly informative, highly entertaining video. News regarding Hutchmoot, Rabbit Room Retreat, Homeschool Conventions, Every Moment Holy, and much more awaits you.
(This was originally published in The Molehill, but since that’s currently out of print and quite a few folks at this weekend’s Wilberforce Conference asked about it, I thought I’d post it here.)
My grandmother asked what kind of books I liked to read. “Fantasy novels,” I said. I probably had a Dragonlance book hidden in my backpack, next to the Walkman with the Tesla tape, the TransWorld Skateboarding mag and the Trapper Keeper with a Camaro on the front.
For some years now I have operated under the suspicion that people are lonely most of the time. I may be incorrect, and it would be a pleasant surprise to find the opposite is true. But I tend to hold my supposed rightness about things pretty close, so in any case it will take some convincing. When I sift through the moments in my life where I felt most supported, connected, known or loved by others, or when I participated in such nearness with someone else so they might feel such love, and when I realize the vast number of those moments despite their paradoxical inability to be usefully quantified, it’s unclear to me whether God is nourishing my belief that loneliness is dangerously prevalent and togetherness its cure, or whether He has been thwarting my understanding of reality from the start—or my start, anyway.
By now, many of you may know that the Internet blew up last weekend over Childish Gambino’s music video for his new song, “This Is America.” As of the time I’m typing this, five days after release, the video has racked up over 63 million views and probably about as many think pieces.